Archive for Monday, November 22, 2010

Scoutmaster revitalizes Boy Scout Troop 61 in east Lawrence

November 22, 2010


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To get involved in Troop 61, call Scoutmaster Rod Zinn at 785-691-7992.

With an end-of-the-year deadline looming, Boy Scout Troop 61 was in danger of losing its charter with the national organization. The troop, based out of St. Luke’s AME Church at Ninth and New York streets, had dwindled to only one member by October, far short of the six required to recharter each year.

Enter Rod Zinn, formerly in leadership at Troop 52 at First United Methodist Church. Zinn, who is known for rebuilding troops, transferred to Troop 61, the only troop in Lawrence now east of Iowa Street. Since he became the Scoutmaster and brought a few older Boy Scouts with him, Troop 61 has swelled to 14 members. Zinn isn’t stopping there, though.

“There are a lot of youth that need Scouting over there,” Zinn said.

Troop 61 is designated as an outreach troop, which means leaders will work with Scouts who might not be able to afford the normal rates for Boy Scouts. Zinn, who has been active in Scouts for 35 years and counting, wants to bring the Boy Scout opportunity to boys who might have nowhere else to turn.

“They brighten up, and that’s exactly why I’m here,” he said.

Verdell Taylor, pastor at St. Luke’s AME church, knows the value in having Scouting experience, participating in it himself from ages 11 to 17.

“Scouting has always been important to me in my life, and I know what it does for young men,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the revitalized troop will be good for both the church and east Lawrence, and is pleased with how cohesive the troop already seems.

“I just see so much potential for growth,” he said.


Peter Houston 7 years, 7 months ago

"known for rebuilding troops"...? really? "formerly in leadership at Troop 52... transferred to troop 61...brought a few older boyscouts with him"... Sounds like robbing peter to pay paul...that's not exactly "rebuilding".

Bob Forer 7 years, 7 months ago

Like, you are awarded an "F" for reading comprehension:

".... brought a few older Boy Scouts with him, Troop 61 has swelled to 14 members."

There was only one member. Now there are 14, an increase of 13. "A few" does not come close to 13. Its called "seeding" the new troop.

Apparently, you are displeased that the lower income boys now have the same opportunity as the middle-class to participate in a very worthy program.

There is one word which aptly describes you: "schmuck".

Bob Forer 7 years, 7 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

bahamonde 7 years, 7 months ago

Likeitis made no mention of race, you are instigating a racial issue that is nonexistent. While your notion of "seeding" a troop could be considered to be valid, stating that Likeitis's comment was race-related is unwarranted.

laughable 7 years, 7 months ago

I give it six months, then Troop 61 will be in the same situation Troop 52 was in. Boy Scouts is a wonderful organization. Hope it works out for Troop 61.

Mason McCurdy 7 years, 7 months ago

likeitis... Yeah, really. If Rod wasn't looking to help the youth and troops, he would still be with his original troop in Overland Park where he grew up. Every troop he has been involved in, has shown success and growth to this day. "Robbing Peter to pay Paul?" If the boys didn't want to transfer to another troop, they wouldn't of. Those boys want to continue the scouting movement to more youth in Lawrence. So if that means they want to transfer, well more support to them.

laughable 7 years, 7 months ago

You need to research that a bit more. It's well known within the Boy Scout community about this topic. The success, growth and happiness came after his exit. From what I hear, several scouts from Troop 52 had transferred to other troops, or were looking to do so prior to Rods exit. Now...the ones that had been looking...well they are not anymore. Everyone from scouts to adult leaders are happy, and the troop is growing and thriving in a wonderful environment.

Mason McCurdy 7 years, 7 months ago

Really? Well known for building troops. How many were in 52 when Rod became Scoutmaster? Not alot. When you have the back ground that Rod has with scouts, you'll understand.

bahamonde 7 years, 7 months ago

This can be viewed as a boon to the scouting program in Lawrence. While the initial departure of older scouts could be viewed as harmful to the original troop (52), it would be pleasant to see the Scoutreach Troop have a leader that is motivated to provide opportunities to those who may not have it.

Amy Heeter 7 years, 7 months ago

Let me clear this up 1 1/2 years ago Troop 61 announced that they may fold due to no new scouts joining. All existing scouts in the troop had either achieved Eagle or were close to completion. At that time some scouts from 52 moved in order to keep the troop alive. There was always a fair mix of boys from various economic backgrounds in troop 61. Some of the boys came from single parent households while others from homes where parents held professional positions. A few off the top of my head include a attorney, a county worker, a career soldier, social worker, a diriector of a large local agency etc. Troop 61 was also the troop Roland Klundt (may he rest in peace) completed his Eagle in. Disadvantaged? I don't think so. Especially with a man such as Verdell Taylor as a sponsor.

oldbaldguy 7 years, 7 months ago

troop 61 was getting ready to collapse. if this move revitalizes the troop, then let it be so.

52Scouter 7 years, 7 months ago

I have to be honest, I started the account to praise a volunteer, especially one that has taken as many years as Rod has to help the youth of this community. I have known Rod for almost 20 years (he was one of my scout leaders), and he has been nothing but a positive role model to the youth of Jo. Co. (Asst. Scoutmaster & Scoutmaster) and Do. Co. He is one of the main reasons that Troop 52 has the location, trailer and troop equipment that they do. When he first got in the troop, there were about 7 active boys, he later built it up to 62 boys at one time. He and a few other leaders attended every function, every campout, every activity that the troop did. Rod's son wasn't even born until 4 years later. Then he had to wait until his son became of age to work with him in scouts. Rod then doubled up his time, by working with the Cub Scouts while still helping the Boy Scouts and serving on the District Committee, as well as, being a coach to his son and daughters sport teams. He also put on the Cub Scout Day camp for 5 years. There are too many people out there that are good at complaining and are a cancer to the program. I would estimate that this gentlemen has put in tens of 1000's of hours with very little grattitude from the people that have benefited from his service. I also can see those that took out an account on-line today (laughable, and likeitis-you know who you are) that are there just to make Rod look bad. Shows your character, definitely. GROW UP. From what I see, with his leaving he not only saved a troop from folding, but also saved membership in the Boy Scouts and is providing a quality program to a troop in east lawrence. If he didn't leave, i believe he said 8 boys would have dropped including his son. (several leaders have also followed and have indicated they were signing up with 61 as well) Both units will now be happy and progressive in their direction. I hope and pray that both units learn from this eperience. He stated multiple times to me that he was happy that the man who took over the scoutmaster postion of troop 52 is a good leader and the best person for the job. He wished him luck and better conditions though. Rod has always been well respected in the district with the scouts, but it appears that those who know him least with with little experience in scouting wish to bash the reputation of someone that has done more for scouting in the past 26 years as a leader then all of them combined. You could only wish to be as respected and to have made as much of an impact as he has done over his years. From what he has told me, some of you are in it for the wrong reasons. You get involved with scouting because of your sons, but the real reason you should get INVOLVED with scouting is because of the program and what it offers the youth. Why cant you thank him for his years of service like many of the great scout leaders across this city/county/state/country vs. try to justify your ego?

origflyboy 7 years, 7 months ago

I grew up in Troop 61 getting my Eagle Scout, and come from a single parent household. The troop being an outreach troop made Scouting possible for those who come from poor families. Some of the fondest memories I have come from this troop. I have worked with Rod over the years, and think it is great that he has come forward to dig the troop out of this hole. Scouting is such a great program that helps boys become young men and productive citizens.

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